Disney Star Faces More Backlash After Religious Acceptance Speech

high school musical's troy and chad look on as joshua bassett and olivia rodrigo dance in high school musical series

The original¬†High School Musical¬†film from 2003 was a Disney Channel Original Movie that focused on teenagers finding themselves and chasing their goals in spite of peer pressure — but the star of the hit spinoff series has been facing a lot of negative treatment from fans, which directly opposes the franchise’s meaning!

high school musical the series cast

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series/Courtesy of Disney+

Disney actor and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star Joshua Bassett recently began sharing his religious beliefs on social media, including footage of his baptism at a “conversion therapy” church (although the actor did make it clear that he didn’t endorse all of the church’s practices), and the actor has just started to receive more negative feedback after espousing his faith during an award acceptance speech at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

High School Musical The Musical The Series Joshua Bassett

Joshua Bassett with Olivia Rodrigo in the High School Musical Series Credit: Disney

Joshua Bassett received the “Favorite Male TV star” award, and accompanied his award acceptance with the following statement: “I’d love to thank¬†my Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Bassett continued his speech by reaching out to viewers. “There are a lot of people here who are burdened, broken-hearted, and have been beaten down by life,” the actor said. “I’m here to tell you — for those of you who’ve lost hope, there’s a very real God who loves you more than you will ever possibly know.”

“His promise is peace and my testimony is my healing,” Bassett added.

black and white photo of joshua bassett disney channel

Credit: Joshua Bassett Instagram

In addition, Bassett gave the following advice: “Forgive quickly, love freely and walk courageously. Love always wins in the end.”

Bassett is known for focusing on “love” in his messaging as a public figure, particularly since he came out “a member of the LGBTQ community” two years ago¬†in 2021. As the actor put it in an Instagram post, “Love who you love shamelessly. It’s ok to still be figuring out who you are. Life’s too short to let ignorance and hatred win. I choose love.”

Did you watch the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards? Have you watched¬†High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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